The University of Salford is part of research project which brought cutting-edge technology to the world of couture this month – all in aid of a charity fundraising initiative at Selfridges in London.

From 1st to 10th April, Oxfam Curiosity Shop, had a pop up store which sold donations from celebrities (Annie Lennox, Kate Moss, Helen Mirren….etc).

So, what was the involvement of the university?

The answer being: QR codes!

Nothing complicated but rather clever.

The idea is part of a 36-month cross-university research project. ‘TOTeM: Tales of Things and Electronic Memory’ which saw Salford’s Dr Maria Burke collaborate with research partners from Edinburgh College of Art, University College London, Brunel University and the University of Dundee.

So, what happened is that singer Beverley Knight and Olympic medallist James Cracknell attached their video stories about the items, using tagging technology called QR codes.

So, for instance Beverley’s items linked to a video about how she wore them to the Pride of Britain awards and James tells viewers about how his trainers were worn in a gruelling marathon.

This shows that charity donations can involve a bit of technology – to a certain degree…by adding a simple QR code to the item.

In the future these codes might be able to carry even more information….who knows?!